PM Gonsalves is ‘innocent until … proven otherwise’

In this photo, emailed to I-Witness News on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves reacts to a BBC journalist on board the airplane in Barbados on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.

In this photo, emailed to I-Witness News on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves reacts to a BBC journalist on board the airplane in Barbados on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Feb. 21, IWN — Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said Wednesday that he will assume that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who is embroiled in a bribery allegation, is “innocent until … proven otherwise”.

Eustace’s statement came Wednesday during a press conference in which he responded to Gonsalves’ statements in the wake of a bribery allegation that surfaced after a visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines by two BBC journalists last week.

Gonsalves has made several statements on radio from Haiti, where he was attending a CARICOM summit, which ended Tuesday.

The Prime Minister telephoned WE FM on Sunday, saying two BBC journalists had accosted him on board an airplane in Barbados.

Eustace said Wednesday that Gonsalves has been calling into radio programmes from Haiti and stating and or insinuating that in his interview with the BBC, Eustace “alleged that he had accepted a bribe”, that Eustace “made such allegations because I (Eustace) judge him (Gonsalves) by my own standards”, that the allegations were “generated and or orchestrated by the NDP” and that he (Gonsalves), never accepted a bribe of any kind.

“I say this,” Eustace further said, “to the claim that I alleged that the PM accepted a bribe, at no time in my BBC interview, did I make a single allegation of bribery against Prime Minister Gonsalves.

“To his conjecture that I made such claims because I judge him by my own standards, in so stating, the Prime Minister implied that I have in the past and/or would in the future accept or be inclined to accept a bribe. The very suggestion is plainly untrue and, ironically, libellous.

However, I do judge the Prime Minister by my own standards. I therefore shall assume him to be innocent until such time as he is proven otherwise. To the Prime Minister’s claim that the said allegations were generated and or orchestrated by the NDP: another unacceptable and frankly incredible claim. The NDP can no more dictate to the BBC than the BBC can dictate to the NDP.”

Regarding the Prime Minister’s statement that he has never accepted a bribe of any kind, Eustace noted that Gonsalves is in Haiti attending a summit with other CARICOM heads of government.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace addresses a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2012. (Photo: I-Witness News)

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace addresses a press conference in Kingstown on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2012. (Photo: I-Witness News)

“Clearly, weighty matters of local and regional importance are being handled there. The Prime Minister’s lengthy, daily, sometimes twice daily, radio calls to plead his case with the BBC and Harlequin are a distraction from his work at the Summit, and do not, at this early juncture, shed any light on the Buccament situation.

“Nonetheless, this matter, which is still unfolding and in respect of which I expect that there shall be further developments, is significant to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I encourage nationals to remain calm. Be resolute in your belief that the truth will come out. I am informed that the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ programme on Harlequin and the Prime Minister is scheduled to air in March.

“It will not be long now. May God bless St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Eustace said.

Eustace further said that he was interviewed by the BBC’s Paul Kenyon on Wednesday.

“While the cameras rolled, Mr. Paul Kenyon of the BBC put to me allegations that Prime Minister Gonsalves received substantial bribes from Dave Ames and sought my response to these allegations if they were discovered to be true.

“In response, I indicated that if such were true, the Prime Minister would have to demit office,” Eustace said.



4 thoughts on “PM Gonsalves is ‘innocent until … proven otherwise’

  1. Is Vinnyv and Ralphie going to share a cell?…what a calamity in my homeland: BLA UNDER WATER; SENATOR CHARGED WITH PERJURY;PRIME MINISTER ACCUSED OF TAKING A BRIBE…policeman raping his 8 year old daughter…what the hell is happening in Vincyland?

    I am the first person to put a bulwood on Ralphie…but ah must say I am not jumping on this bribery bandwagon….look Ralphie may be a accused of being a rapist, a liar,a wutless so and so….but the man nah dotish. Why would he accept a brief case of money in his office and he could orchestrate such transaction in a much more clandestine manner? I am not buying this bribery allegation, show me more evidence, in the form of audio or video….I think these BBC reporters are reaching and is trying to pin down Mr Ames…let us be clear, who is the target of this investigation…its not Ralphie, but David Ames and the Harlequien development; Ralphie is collateral damage.

    Posted by chesleyAllington (@Llijame) | February 21, 2013, 22:37
  2. Mr CHANCE, nice to get a photo that matches the article, it helps put the situation into some prospective. All those library photos that you use are becoming so boring.

    Kenton, thanks for returning to us, you were missed and its so important that voices of truth, opinions and opposition are heard, you are serving the people of SVG in the most wonderful way. Thank you!

    Posted by peterbinose | February 22, 2013, 04:06
  3. PETER, what is the MATTER? It seems like you have GOTTEN QUIET.

    Where is your the BOMBAST about how Dr. Gonsalves took a million dollar BRIBE from Mr. Ames.

    You and the other detractors of Dr. Gonsalves will be shown, AGAIN, as just BRAYING JACKASSES aka EASILY LED

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | February 22, 2013, 10:53
  4. VINCYPOWA, unlike you I do not knowingly tell lies or try and damage a person with mistruths. We know you do that all the time, but unlike you and the whole ULP regime, most of us have integrity, even without the legislation.

    I do not know if GONSALVES took the bung, as they say in financial circles. Having said that, and nor do you VINCYPOWA.

    We could both say what we think, but there may be no truth in that, and saying something that I think, could damage Gonsalves reputation. To what extent I do not know. I believe it was severely damaged by all those women who claimed he sexually assaulted, them in some way or other.

    Lets just wait and see how things pan out. They will be holding a public viewing of the programme in my local restaurant and bar, and I am told in every bar and public place on the island.

    You are trying to protect him from something to my knowledge no one but the Panorama team has said, like your ejaculations you are a little premature.

    One thing we can be sure of, if its proven to be true, its ‘good night nurse’.

    I just hope he has not been a naughty boy, for the sake of our beloved country, and his mummy who is unwell.

    Posted by peterbinose | February 22, 2013, 15:09

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